Today I’m rounding out my recap of GGJ 2020, the day before GGJ 2021.
I woke up around 10 and spent the rest of the day up to the deadline working. I was kinda an island, with the team’s work going on around me. I wasn’t as dead-to-the-world as I’ve been in the past, but I was definitely focused elsewhere. At some point a photo was taken of the whole team. I’m looking at the page for the game on GGJ’s site and I definitely look dazed.
By the end of it, we had a playable game that had a bunch of sound in it. It wasn’t perfect or complete, but it was, well, playable and had a bunch of sound. I consider that a victory.
I took a quick look at what the rest of the teams had developed (they were pretty great this year). I left before the closing events had finished to make sure I caught the right train. I didn’t want to repeat Saturday night’s mistake (and, uh, 2019’s mistake now that I think about it) since I was being picked up from the train station.
The rest of the week until the showcase event, I polished up the audio. I fixed some outstanding bugs that I spent a huge amount of fatigued time on and ended up being easy to fix. I also managed to design sounds for three or four more kinds of junk, and Dan designed more as well. I was able to throw a couple more sounds toward Øa-sys as well.
The showcase on Thursday was enjoyable, too. So many of the Philly games turned out nicely, too. You can see the site’s games here: https://globalgamejam.org/2020/jam-sites/philly-global-game-jawn/games.
I had a few takeaways from this. Some of them just aren’t relevant now, since in-person jams won’t be happening for a while.
What keeps being clear, though, is that getting enough rest in these jams is productive in itself.
I definitely worked better after sleeping on Saturday. In 2016 and 2017 I probably had a total of four hours of sleep per jam. Don’t do that for obvious reasons. 2018 and 2019 each had nights where I didn’t get sleep (though 2019’s was not intentional; I had caffeine too late in the day) with the other night only having about five hours of sleep. Both of those had issues where I was stuck coding something that could’ve been quickly fixed.
In 2020 I was actually productive after sleeping eight hours on Saturday, even though I was tired from travelling the night before. Saturday into Sunday I was stuck on a problem for over an hour with a quick fix again. It wasted an hour or more that I could’ve just, y’know, slept through and approached with clearer eyes the next day.
Tomorrow night is the kickoff of Global Game Jam 2021. It’s being held online but still around all the local sites. It’ll be a new experience, spread out over four days instead of two. Hopefully that’ll mean less crunch and more rest. We’ll see how it changes and what ways GGJ and our local site have found to adapt. I’m looking forward to it.